WHEN THE GROUND FREEZES SOLIDLY IN DECEMBER, I know it’s time to mulch my roses. Mulching keeps their roots cold and unstimulated, should a freakish warm spell occur between bouts of frigid weather. Furthermore, this insulating blanket ultimately improves the soil: (click photos to enlarge)
As you can see from the photo up top, when I mulch, I do a thorough job of it. The individual plants receive an 18- 24-inch mounding of shredded leaves, while the areas between them receive 6- 10-inches of covering (see photo below). This in-between covering does wonders to mitigate the need for weeding during the summer months.
Why do I use shredded leaves for mulch? Well, first because they are entirely free; and next, because they produce the very finest top-soil in the world — leaf mold. Leaf mold is pure humus. I can tell you that after 5 or 6 years of winter-mulching with leaves, my rose beds are chock full of worms and nutrients, the beds are well-aerated and water-retentive, and consequently a pure joy to work in. In fact, it’s hard to believe that my rose garden was once an asphalt parking lot.
Winter-mulching was my big job for today. What’s happening in your garden?
Don’t miss anything at A Garden for the House…sign up for Kevin’s weekly newsletter.